Rejecting Uttar Pradesh government’s contention that it is not ready to hand over the probe to CBI despite its three-member inquiry committee coming under question for sitting over evidence of corruption, The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on Thursday ordered CBI probe into the entire process of selection initiated for the recruitment of 68,500 assistant teachers in primary schools. Justice Ali ordered that the CBI shall complete the investigation within six months. The court, which has been hearing a bunch of similar petitions, ordered a probe into the entire process of selection after prima facie evidence revealed that many candidates had been awarded 65 marks but at least 3 to 4 answers in their answer sheets were not marked.
Before ordering a CBI probe, Justice Ali also took note of the report of the three-member enquiry committee formed by the state which admitted that there are 12 candidates, whose copies were found to be changed. 23 candidates who were declared to be qualified were found to be not qualified in the first list. In the second list, 24 candidates who were found not qualified in the written examination declared on 13.8.2018 have been found to be qualified. The court noted that the agency which was hired by the State Government for bar coding had also accepted that copies of 12 candidates were changed, in spite of that acceptance; no criminal proceeding for making cheating in change of copies has been initiated against the agency till date.
The court then asked the State government if it was ready to hand over the probe to CBI. The Advocate General submitted that the State was not in favor of a CBI probe. While deciding in favor of probe by an independent agency, Justice Ali observed, “Allegations of rampant corruption and illegal selections have been levelled in the present selection proceeding. It is expected from the State Government to make free and fair selections. In the Basic Schools, there are complaints in wide-scale illegal selections with nefarious objective to fulfil political manifesto as well as to promote parochial menace in the services of the State and thereby blatantly violating the fundamental rights of the citizens.
The court went on to the extent of saying that for past 20 yrs, every selection process of government is marred by corruption. So distressed was the bench that it observed, “This is an examination for providing employment in the State of Uttar Pradesh to the unemployed youth who are waiting since long to get employment in these hard days.” Justice Ali held it to be prima facie a case of breach of trust of the candidates who have applied for the selection process under bonafide belief that there shall be free and fair selection proceeding for recruitment of assistant teachers as well as it is found that there were large number of deliberate and willful attempts in not awarding correct marks to the candidates appearing in the said recruitment process.
Student Reporter- INBA